Man accused of arson that killed Detroit firefighter faces murder trial

The 27-year-old businessman accused of paying a handyman $20 to burn a vacant house — a blaze that claimed the life of a Detroit firefighter — has been bound over for trial, the county Prosecutor’s Office said today.

Mario Willis is charged with felony murder and arson of a dwelling in the death last November of Walter Harris, a 17-year veteran of the Detroit Fire Department.

The handyman who set the fire, Darian Dove, 40, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder as part of a deal to testify against Willis.

Source: By ZLATI MEYER (Free Press staff writer)


Ok, I have to flat out disagree with MURDER charges here. The house was vacant when the fire was set, they did not intend to hurt anyone. Should they be punished? Yes, of course. But murder charges? Really? If they knew someone was in the house or weren’t sure and set the fire anyways, then yeah, murder charges. But this firefighter responded to the scene and died doing his job, I don’t see how that warrants a charge of murder.

What do YOU think?

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17 thoughts on “Man accused of arson that killed Detroit firefighter faces murder trial

  1. Admin

    What if it was a speeding ticket and the cop got hit by a car and killed while writing you the ticket? If you hadn't been speeding, the cop wouldn't have died. Do you think the speeder should be charged with murder? I don't see how this is any different.

  2. Anonymous

    Sorry, anyone setting a fire should have the brains to realize that fire can spread and kill anything and anyone in its path. The fireman happened to be the one, arson has been killing Detroit for years and maybe this will be the case to make people stop and think a bit first!

  3. Anonymous

    I would love to know if the person complaining of the murder charge would feel different if it was someone he knew. This was a scam for profit it was no accident. The fireman did the job he was paid to do by the law abiding citizens of detroit and paid the ultimate price, you my friend should feel ashamed for the complete lack of resect your comment means. I don't think you thought it out. As to the other comment about cop hit while writing ticket I would think it was the one driving the car that would have to worry about charges. WTF?? and I would also like to know if any profit from your sales of merch is being donated to help solve the problems after you expenses of couse, that you highlight or was that the money coming out of the tailpipe of the vette in another of your videos. Just asking man dont be part of the problem……Peace

  4. Anonymous

    I doubt it. Detroit will continue to burn as long as there is anything left to burn. Making an example out of these guys will accomplish nothing. Charging them with murder is wrong. I understand that anyone who commits a felony and somebody dies should be charged but this is not the same as a robbery or something similar. Negligent Homicide at the very outside. I remember the pair of guys who burned a crack house and there wasn't a jury who would convict them. Don't be a firefighter if you don't expect to be killed. Especially in Detroit.

  5. Admin

    now, when the firefighter's family is asked how he dies, do you think they are going to say "he was murdered"? are they going to say "someone killed him"? NO! of course not! they are going to say he died in the line of duty doing his job. he was NOT "murdered". as the above comment said, negligent homicide might be an appropriate charge, or manslaughter, not murder. he was not "murdered", therefore the charge does not fit the crime.

  6. Anonymous

    He plead guilty to the charge nuff said, Burning the crack house was neighbors protecting there families not creating a danger for profit……WTF was that your favorite ____ house lol. As for the firefighters commiting suicide taking the job, how much does detroit pay citfo
    Murder 2nd degree = Burn house for profit someone anyone dies and you get caught
    Kinda ????? on the second part of comment there admin

  7. Admin

    you have to MURDER someone to be charged with MURDER. look up the definition of murder… he did not MURDER someone according to the definition. if someone was in the house and he knew it, that would be murder.

    just because he pled guilty doesn't mean shit. people plead guilty all the time for things that they didn't even do, because of the circumstances. we weren't in the court room with him to have all the facts.

    but the bottom line is, he didn't murder anyone according to the definition of the word. i am NOT saying he doesn't deserve to go to jail, but the man never set out to physically hurt anyone by his actions, thus i believe a lesser charge should be in order. that's just me.

  8. Anonymous

    Okay, the fellow probably shouldn't have been charged with murder. However, in this neck of the woods, purposely starting a fire that results in death is viewed a hell of a lot more harshly than someone exceeding the speed limit and causing a death. That's just common sense.

  9. Anonymous

    Your telling me to look it up??? Did you…Google read MURDER 2nd degree as charged in the article you posted. Not trying to argue but don't act like tough shit so the fireman died doing his job. I will say hopefully the handyman who plead did not get to long a sentence but the pos owner should pay for his f@ckin greed

  10. Admin

    definition of 2nd degree murder:

    "second degree murder n. a non-premeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility."

    in no way does setting fire to an ABANDONED house carry with it the distinct possibility that someone could die, it's abandoned. there's no argument here, it's common sense. the man did not MURDER anyone. his actions caused a man to die, but in the definition of the word, he did not murder anyone. PERIOD.

  11. Anonymous

    yeah. i'd say neglegant homocide. That said. Those whole neighborhoods need to go. to make them disappear quicker they need to tell the banks of those abandon buildings that they keep property rights but they have to open houses up for destruction. Tell private business that they can completely loot a house for raw materials so long as they dispose of the rest of the house.

  12. Anonymous

    If you set a fire the fire department will come and put it out. If you know that firefighters will be going into the dangerous enviroment that you have created you should also realize they can be killed as a result of your actions. Therefore, when a firefighter dies in that fire you are guilty of manslaughter. YOU HAVE MURDERED SOMEONES FAMILY MEMBER! There is no other explination.

  13. Anonymous

    i think that the man being accused was fed up with the crime and crack going on right down the street. time to clean up the neighborhood. enough is enough… sorry the firefighter died, lots of people die doing there job…but on second thought, why fight a fire burning a crack house??

  14. Anonymous

    Im reading all of these posting and alot of you are making sense but some of you have no idea or cant create a purpose why a man whos house was vacant for over 8 months with a mortgage on the house ( yes it was behind a couple of months) NO INSURANCE pay a man $20 to burn a house. IT MAKES NO SENSE.

  15. Anonymous

    I was reading the post on this and most have all the facts wrong!! The house had No mortgage and NO insurance on it!!! The owner had NOTHING to gain by paying a known drug user to burn down his house. Kim is trying to make a name for herself with the lives of others. Let us try to remember, judge not.


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